As I continue to unpack my new house and put things on the wall, I have been thinking a lot lately.
I keep all of my race numbers, medals and awards. Not only do I keep them but I display all of them proudly.
Sure some might think it’s more of a hoarding thing.
And sure some races give out the same red, white and blue #1medal.
Some people might think it’s excessive and many runners donate their finishing medals or throw away their bibs.
Heck, some races give out no medals at all. I recently ran the Festival of Races 5k in Syracuse, NY. I received no medal or trophy, and that was fine. I don’t race for the awards. I don’t cherry pick races based on what sort of “free things” I can accumulate. I run races because I truly enjoy them, and I enjoy supporting friends and the local community.
Each race contains a memory good or bad. Throughout my five years of running, I’ve raced a lot. I’ve blogged throughout most of it, so it’s easy for me to look back and reflect on the good, bad and the ugly.
I’ve run some of the worst races of my life like the Turning Stone half or the Haddon Hearts 5k last year. Despite both of those races being miserable, I finished healthy, and I never looked back. They were just a memory that running is hard and not every race is a dream race.
Regardless of the race time, every bib number, award or medal is a memory of something. They are a memory of doing something I enjoy. Sure I could donate half of the red, white and blue strung 5k finishing medals I have but I don’t want too. I don’t like to take for granted finishing every race.
When I toe the starting line of a race, a race goal of mine is always to finish healthy.
You never know what can happen the moment after the gun or air horn goes off. The expected quickly becomes the unexpected.
I will continue to collect my running finishers medals, trophies, bibs and memories. Each race finished is a reminder that my body is strong and healthy.
Questions for you:
Do you keep race numbers or finishers medals?
What is your favorite and least favorite race to date?